Sean Penn has filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Empire co-creator Lee Daniels, citing a recent interview in which Daniels suggested Penn had been violent towards women.

Sean Penn Files Suit Against Lee Daniels

Terrence Howard, who stars on Empire, has been in the news a lot lately for admitting to have beaten two of his wives. There had long been reports and allegations of abuse, but with the actor admitting it, the story has picked up even more attention.

In a recent interview, Daniels attempted to take some of the heat off the star of his show, by stating that Howard had done no worse than Penn, who has long been rumored to have been abusive towards Madonna.

“[Terrence] ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some f***in’ demon,” Daniels told The Hollywood Reporter. “That’s a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America.”

Though Penn has often been the subject of reports claiming he had a problem with violence towards women, Lee’s comments led him to file a lawsuit to clear his name.

““Daniels falsely equates Penn with Howard, even though, while he has certainly had several brushes with the law, Penn (unlike Howard) has never been arrested, much less convicted, for domestic violence, as his ex-wives (including Madonna) would confirm and attest,” reads the filing.

It’s also said in the complaint, “As a result of Penn’s status as a public figure, he has for years been the subject of scandalous, scurrilous, and baseless attacks. But Penn, like any citizen, has a right to defend himself and will no longer tolerate the reckless and malicious behavior of others, who seek to aggrandize themselves or their projects at his expense. Accordingly, and because of Daniels’ defamatory statements, Penn brings this action for monetary relief, and to deter Daniels and others from their defamatory actions.”

Penn’s lawsuit also admonishes Daniels’ comments for appearing to make light of the abuse that Howard has admitted to committing against his wives.

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